FAR questions Woodside’s proposals for deepwater Senegal oil project

FAR has advised Woodside Energy that it will not support arrangements for Woodside to undertake development preparations for the deepwater SNE oil field offshore Senegal.

Offshore staff

PERTH, Australia – FAR has advised Woodside Energy that it will not support arrangements for Woodside to undertake development preparations for the deepwater SNE oil field offshore Senegal.

According to Woodside, these are essential for the development schedule and are an important step to the company assuming operatorship fromCairn Energy.

FAR, however, claims that Senegal’s government has not approved the transfer of interests in the Rufisque, Sangomar, and Sangomar Deep offshore blocks from ConocoPhillips to Woodside, and that FAR was not provided with proper pre-emption rights.

Woodside has countered that these claims are without merit, insisting that it has an interest in the production-sharing agreement (PSA), has complied with the terms of the PSA and Senegalese law, and has at all times honored its joint venture obligations.

CEO Peter Coleman added: “These actions by FAR put at risk the timely development of the SNE oil field in a prospective emerging basin.”

During a briefing to investors last month, Woodside stated that its transition to development lead and subsequent operatorship was under way and that the Phase 1 FPSO development was targeting first oil by 2021.

FAR’s actions have the potential to negatively impact the development schedule and the anticipated timeframe for first oil. The extent of the impact is uncertain at this time.

In response, FAR said it continues to support the approved joint venture work program and budget and development schedule as presented by Cairn, and has in fact proposed an accelerated development schedule to the joint venture.

It maintained that Cairn, as operator of the joint venture, is responsible for delivering the work program and budget, including the project development schedule, and that there is no agreement for Woodside becoming operator.

FAR added that it was open to an amicable solution with ConocoPhillips, but would continue to reserve its rights in relation to the dispute, including resolution through international arbitration as provided for in the joint operating agreement.

06/08/2017

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